Essay 3 - Religion- A Dialogue, Etc by Schopenhauer Arthur

By Schopenhauer Arthur

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Example text

At any rate we have seen that in regard the grace of God,” to “the sovereignty of the people”; so that the two former terms of the parallel are in natural alliance. to the furtherance of morality, its utility is, for the most part, problematical, its disadvantages, and especially the atrocities which have followed in its train, are patent to the light of day. Of course it is quite a different matter if we consider the utility of religion as a prop of thrones; for where these are held “by the grace of God,” throne and altar are intimately associated; and every wise prince who loves his throne and his family will appear at the head of his people as an exemplar of true religion.

But, in spite of all you’ve said, I doubt whether the efficacy of religion goes much beyond this. Just think; if a public proclamation were suddenly made announcing the repeal of all the criminal laws; I fancy neither you nor I would have the courage to go home from here under the protection of religious motives. If, in the same way, all religions were declared untrue, we could, under the protection of the laws alone, go on living as before, without any special addition to our apprehensions or our measures of precaution.

This is the case with many learned per- notion that the world has a physical but not a moral meaning, is the most mischievous error sprung from the greatest mental perversity. 44 Schopenhauer sons: they have read themselves stupid. For to occupy every spare moment in reading, and to do nothing but read, is even more paralyzing to the mind than constant manual labor, which at least allows those engaged in it to follow their own thoughts. A spring never free from the pressure of some foreign body at last loses its elasticity; and so does the mind if other people’s thoughts are constantly forced upon it.

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